Sunday, October 8, 2017

It is a good thing to rock the boat from time-to-time; but blundering through the china-cabinet is outright stupid and hurts everyone.

I don’t follow NAFTA negotiations between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada closely but it seems Mr. Trump’s strategy is one of bullying and intimidation.  Mr Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, has come up with outrageous demands that seem to say: “We demand any rule that we think favors U.S. manufacturing and we want anything that is not in our favor cancelled. If you don’t agree we walk”.   Well even within the U.S. there is a lot of opposition to this behaviour.  Because many U.S. manufacturers feel that NAFTA has been beneficial for all, including the U.S. and that the U.S. is busy to destroy a good thing.  In fact, many feel that NAFTA has promoted U.S. competitiveness worldwide.
Demands that Mexican farmers have an unfair advantage because their wages are lower than those in the U.S.; that Mexican weather Is better and that they can harvest 3 times per year rather than 2 times as in California is utterly ludicrous.  That is what a free market is all about: efficiency!  Imagine that Canadian farmers were saying that California wine is competing unfairly because they have warmer weather.  Even the Canadian consumer would be upset by that; they like their Californian wines. Here we’re trying to get rid of Canada’s dairy boards because they force our cheese and milk prices through the roof and then we would have to accept the bullying demands of that U.S. buffoon that are out of this world. We all benefit from NAFTA and updating the accord to reflect today’s progress is one thing. Having a protectionist U.S. elephant threaten its much smaller neighbours is not only bad form but it creates a lot of bad blood on this continent.  The Boeing-Bombardier spat is an exact mirroring of these negotiations and to some degree so is that perpetual lumber dispute.  It is all about, when the bully cannot compete it harasses the neighbourhood.  I think JT should cancel the Boeing contracts right now. I think he should cancel every U.S. defense contract right now!   What is Trump going to do: Invade Canada?  Who is going to pay for the defense of this continent’s North?  Trump is even upsetting Great Britain one of the U.S. staunchest allies over the last 100 years or so. It is a good thing to rock the boat from time-to-time; but blundering through the china-cabinet is outright stupid and hurts everyone.

Maybe Trump follows his ‘Art of the Deal’ strategy but I call it the ‘burning of bridges’ strategy. Upon the Donald’s election I had hopes he could clean-up elitism and bureaucracy in the U.S.  I thought, here is finally a guy that may tell governments to back off invading individual rights. Instead, we seem to have nothing but a bully. The U.S. better starts to shape-up and behave in a more acceptable way towards its friends; because currently with the U.S. as a friend, who needs enemies?  It seems, the U.S. prefers to cut-off its nose in order to spite its neighbours. From a Canadian point of view, the U.S. has historically been the elephant in the porcelain cabinet; but right now, that elephant is not even trying to keep things working.

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